I don’t remember how I originally met Father Jeff. He’s a Industrial/EBM/goth DJ in the New York area. It must have been in the late 80s. I’m going to guess he was DJing at the IVY (The Haven) in Connecticut/Westchester or maybe one of the Long Island clubs like Paris NY. It was only a few words and then the 90s happened and I was off in techno land. During that time Jeff started his own night Ward 6. I ran into Jeff recently at the Mad World book release and realized it’s time to check out Ward 6 again. Tonight DJ Stalagmike is playing alongside Jeff. I DJed Mike’s event Defcon at the Pyramid a few months ago. I really like what Mike plays so tonight I’m going for sure. Come and join me for a drink. The Gallery at LPR. 158 Bleecker Street. New York, NY 10012
“WARD 6–Friday, May 16th..!! DJ FATHER JEFF and Guest DJ JET (Cybertron) and Guest DJ STALAGMIKE (Defcon). NEW WAVE-POST PUNK-GOTH-SYNTH-INDUSTRIAL Ticket Giveaways for DE/VISION–NYC Show–5/30!!! WARD 6 first opened on September 8th, 1990. Music to stop your mind from rotting.” – Ward 6
Last weekend I did a DJ Set at Defcon. Defcon is run by D.J. Stalagmike. There are three things that make Defcon special. First, it’s a true old school EBM event. You won’t hear cybergoth here. Mike has very good taste playing New Beat, Scarecrow and things like that. Second, Defcon takes place in one of the oldest running classic venues: The Pyramid. The Pyramid has been around since the 1979 and was host to some of the best drag/gay parties throughout the 80s. Finally, Mike has managed to make this an every Saturday event for a long time. To create a long running classic EBM event in North America is something to be noted. I was very pleased to be asked to play there. I posted my mix below for you to hear in full! As I played music I was screaming and sweating quite a bit. A tradition at Defcon is apparently drinking something called Black Haus. I did my best not to vomit with each shot. This stuff really tastes like paint thinner. Dj Andi did two amazing sets. She runs the Synthicide night and for someone in her 20s blows my mind with her obscure 80s music knowledge. Mike DJed for the rest of the night. Several times I had to run to the DJ booth to find out what he was playing. I couldn’t stop dancing to either of their sets. I had a chance to meet Jean Lorenzo (who was sporting a nice Petra Flurr T-Shirt) who records some nice hardware only synth/gothpop under the name Silent Em. I also met with old friends Reade Truth and Kreestof. In the late 80s and early 90s there was no place greater for music than NYC. Lately it’s cool and fun factor has really been on the rise. Heimat!
“The Pyramid Club is a nightclub in the East Village of Manhattan, New York City. After opening in 1979, the Pyramid helped define the East Village drag and gay scenes of the 1980s. The club is located at 101 Avenue A in Manhattan.” – Wikipedia
On Saturday night I went to the second annual Control Voltage Fair at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan. It was at last year’s event where I first got the modular bug. Since that show I learned all I could about the Eurorack modular format and have purchased 31 modules and 4 racks to hold them. The modular “scene” is small and everyone I’ve met online, at Control or at these events has been friendly, helpful and really into it. It was extremely hot and humid on Saturday evening and this year the booths and live shows were outdoors. After a quick walkthrough I first stopped at the Tiptop Audio booth to play with the Trigger Riot and see the new Mix Z prototype. The TR lives up to it’s name as within a 30 seconds you can have a mass of drums making noise. The Mix Z is a mixer with a bus on it’s backside so you don’t have to patch the audio in from Tiptop drum modules. I met Richard Devine at the Make Noise booth. We discussed how he soundproofed his new studio. We also talked about how it’s important for children to hear a lot of music as they develop and how his own kid may end up a little different because of the modular sounds she’s hearing vs Row Row Row Your Boat. Ben Casey from Bangbang was there. He’s the de-facto Elektron dealer in NYC. Musician Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe and Knas the maker of the Polygamist synth were seen hanging out. Before the actual performances startetd Jeremiah Johnson had a small crowd gather around him while he improvised on the massive Control setup. They had the new Mutable Instruments modules in their giant Goikes racks and Jeremiah was making good noise with them. I talked to him after his was done about European gigs. I enjoyed Keith Fullerton Whitman’s performance. Modular sounds good live and outdoors. I like my music more structured and evil but it had moments where I wondered how he was doing it. Richard Devine’s performance had a certain sound to it. Plucky, vactrolish and for most of it happily quite dark. Due to the Tequila icey drinks they were serving right outside the festival I tired out and missed Lori Napoleon. Be sure to see my entire set of photos on flickr: click here
“People walking by outside audibly confused by the noise pouring out on to the street from RichardDevine ‘s set.” – Anthony Saunders
The Village Voice voted Tobacco Road in Hell’s Kitchen (574 9th Ave, NYC) the Best Dive Bar. It’s also a “Bikini Bar”. It’s been sitting in the same location since the mid 80s. Therefore it’s quite appropriate that I do a DJ set there tomorrow night (Saturday, June 21, 2013). My college friend Bill Kraemer’s label “The Seed” recently re-released my 2007 political track Automatic. He had a contest for remixes and put the best of them out with the original. So besides my DJ set this is a proper record release party. Please come and drink heavily. It’s free to get in!
“Totally weird, awesome bar. Appropriately surreal – it’s basically right outside the bus terminal. $7 PBR + whiskey! what do you want, really? It’s a true dive.
Hot chicks serving me drinks in a bra? 4 stars! Cheap booze? 4 stars! Stage to sing Karaoke once I’m hammered? 4 stars! Dancing on a pole for free shots? Lights out.” – Yelp
In the video above you see the emerging dance scene in NYC. If you ever listen New Order’s Confusion and thought wow this is well produced and really works well in a nightclub now you can know the reason. Producer Arthur Baker tells how he tested the track in club specifically to sound good there. At that time most music heard even in clubs had melody and lyrics. At 13:58 in the reporter amazingly has an epic thought and asks Baker if he thinks if eventually dance music will just be rhythmic without vocals or melody. He knew the future!
“The other question is what would be the next? Because things are becoming more and more rhythmic. Do you think we will end up with just complete rhythm records with no melody whatsoever?”
I love tech meetups. I always pick up a few tips and tricks and it’s nice to meet people in person. Tekserve is one of my favorite stores in Manhattan and in March Ableton and Shocklee are gathering there to show us Live 9 and Push. Ableton’s Huston Singletary, Adriano Clemente, Heinrich Zwahlen and Brian Jackson will be presenting. It’s good if you RSVP in advance. See you there!
“We’re proud to present a very special evening on Tuesday March 5, 2013 – New York City’s first look at the new and much anticipated Live 9 & Push Instrument! You’re invited to join us for a big celebration featuring presentations by Ableton Certified Trainers and hosted by Hank Shocklee & Ableton’s Huston Singletary.” – shocklee.com
Another absolutely legendary store is closing down in NYC. I’ve been to Bleeker Bobs countless times. A good chunk of my record collection comes from Bobs. I supposed it’s inevitable but the news saddens me. After my parents divorce my mother had a new boyfriend (now her husband Doug). To get my brother and I out of their hair on the weekends they would give us $100 to go record shopping. There were about 10 stores on our village walk including St. Marks Sounds, Vinylmania, Discorama, Rebel Rebel, Tower, Second Coming and Bleeker Bobs. As the 80s ended and I went to college, EBM/Industrial records started to dry up and I started making my own music. These factors ended my vinyl shopping spree. I think fondly of spending time with my brother and finding the music gems which I still cherish today. Be sure to read the article in The Stool Pigeon (link) for Bob’s history.
“Landmark Greenwich Village record shop Bleecker Bob’s is closing down after more than 40 years in business, and the only person in new york who doesn’t know is Bleecker Bob… A long CD rack, installed in the nineties, runs down one side of the store. It looks out of place now, like an arcade game in a library. Art deco clocks hang at the top of the walls in rows. Many of them have stopped. And there are crates and crates and crates of hand-labelled, meticulously catalogued records. But forget about the records for a minute….” – The Stool Pigeon
According to a post on boingboing London and Sydney already have public pianos on their streets. NYC is about to get there own. Chopsticks anyone? You can read the Village Voice article about the plan: click here
I have this record on pink marbled 12″ vinyl. I remember my friend Joe Forbes bought it first and it took me a while to find my own copy. Eventually I found it at Rebel Rebel on Bleeker Street. Amazingly Rebel Rebel still exists and the owner still stands in behind the front counter exactly as he did 20+ years ago. Recently I went in there with my brother and saw him only now with gray hair. We spent countless weekends, hours and money buying hundreds of records from Rebel Rebel. Secession had a few good songs. I love the melancholy melodies in Touch. Melodies like this were in so much of 80s New Wave and for me the memories are melancholy too. Forget Virgin Galatic I want a proper time machine.
“Rebel Rebel is one of the old school NYC record shops— they’ve seemingly been around since the dawn of time. The walls are lined with posters and records from bands that haven’t seen a recording studio in years. Vinyl is everywhere, promo posters are sold out of a box for $2 a piece. It’s one of those places where a record buyer just feels at home.” – nycgoth.com
Here’s two videos that bring you back into the techno 90s. Above we have a pretty cool remake of Joey Beltram’s classic track Energy Flash (iTunes link) from Vinyl Life. Next we have some video from one of Peter Gatien’s clubs The Tunnel. I first went to the Tunnel around 1986 (I was 16). The dancing around 1:00 in will get you laughing.
I have a lot of stories from The Tunnel none of which I’m going to commit to “print”. Do you have any you care to share?